The Drop: Your Guide To New Music Friday Featuring Ásgeir & Allday
Fridays can be overwhelming for pop fans. Every week you’re bombarded with a glut of new music, which can lead to ear candy falling through the cracks. I’m hoping to circumvent that tragic scenario with The Drop — a cheat sheet (of sorts) to get you through New Music Friday. By now, you’ve probably heard Tinashe’s “Flame,” bopped along to Clean Bandit and Zara Larsson’s “Symphony” and possibly even checked out Mura Masa and Charli XCX’s “1 Night.” But that’s still just the tip of the iceberg.
European artists really left their mark on New Music Friday this week, so let’s start in Poland. Margaret generated international attention in 2016 with RiRi-channeling bop, “Cool Me Down,” and a demented follow-up called “Elephant.” The perky blond is hoping to build on that momentum with Smurfs soundtrack cut, “Blue Vibes.” As much as I like Meghan Trainor’s “I’m A Lady,” this ridiculous euro-pop anthem is even catchier. Unfortunately, it’s not on Spotify yet, but you can watch the video below. Another diva with a viral hit in her discography is Finland’s SAARA. She made waves with “Ur Cool,” but the novelty track didn’t do her justice. Soaring dance-pop anthem, “Superpowers,” is a much better reflection of her talent.
Nordic guys also had a good week. Icelandic singer Ásgeir landed a surprise international hit in 2013 with “King And Cross” and built a loyal following with English-language debut, In The Silence. His sophomore LP drops on May 5 and it looks like he has radically overhauled his sound. Lead single, “Stardust,” is a light and airy blend of shimmery electro and R&B phrasing. It’s very much of the here and now, but still manages to sound otherworldly and beautiful. Also returning this week is Swedish duo, The Sound Of Arrows. Their debut single, “Into The Clouds,” remains a Scandipop classic, but they disappeared after dropping their one and only album in 2011. “Beautiful Life,” which is sadly not an Ace Of Base cover, picks up where they left off — with dreamy, soaring synth-pop.
As usual, the Brits also made their presence felt on New Music Friday. 16-year-old Sody caught my attention last year with “Wasted Youth,” an electro-ballad with Martin Luke Brown. She lets her hair down on new single, “Let Go,” a snapshot of teenage life with on-trend electronic production and a typically powerful vocal. This reminds me of early Lorde. Next up is UK producer, TCTS. He landed a viral hit with an instrumental called “Cold Feet.” He relaunches it today with vocals from Kelis and Sage The Gemini, and it’s still a bone-rattling bop.
That takes us to a pair of noteworthy Aussie collaborations. Allday, who landed a feature on Troye Sivan’s Blue Neighbourhood LP, teams up with producer Japanese Wallpaper for a dreamy, quasi-ambient pop anthem called “In Motion.” The rapper’s flow borders at times and it works surprisingly well. More of this, please. Lisa Mitchell released one of the better albums of 2016 with Warriors, but she puts promotion on hold to lend her voice to SUPER CRUEL’s “November.” This is beautifully executed electronica with a memorable drop.
Let’s wind it up with a pair acts a little closer to home. Bridgit Mendler continues her sonic rebirth with “Can’t Bring This Down,” an alt-R&B leaning collaboration with New Orleans rapper, Pell. I’m still processing Bridgit 2.0, but this really works for me. Another artist in the midst of a reinvention is Mike Posner. He recently teamed up with Blackbear to form Mansionz. I’m still not sure what to make of the hip-hop duo, but “Dennis Rodman” is catchy as hell, so I guess I’m on board. Listen to the song in my playlist below.